MSD has ambitious goals to protect the environment

It’s not unusual to see George Mahoney peeking into empty conference rooms at our facilities and turning off the lights. “I hate waste, including wasting energy. It hurts the environment, depletes natural resources and costs money,” says George, who spent three years helping teams across 80 of our facilities change their behaviors and develop creative solutions for reducing energy use.

Lowering energy consumption supports our company’s environmental sustainability goal to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. We also have design-for-the-environment goals to help ensure that manufacturing processes and packaging designs are environmentally friendly. Other goals are designed to limit water use and the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators.

George Mahoney,
director, global workspace
environmental sustainability

As a health care company, we believe it’s our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment. We’ve made significant progress in this area and are always looking for ways to further reduce our footprint. In fact, our latest environmental goals are our most ambitious yet.
- Janet Friday, director, environmental sustainability

Lighting the way around the world

George says that among the “ambitious” goals are our renewable energy targets.

By 2025, 50% of our purchased electricity will be obtained from renewable sources; by 2040, 100%. Multiple projects are underway to help us achieve those.

For example, in 2018, our company signed an agreement with a wind farm near San Angelo, Texas, that adds 60 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to the electrical grid and supports our environmental sustainability goals. Over the life of the 12-year agreement, we will be able to claim greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than 100,000 metric tons – the equivalent of removing more than 20,000 passenger vehicles from the road each year.

Other energy improvement efforts include new LED lighting and a lighting control system at a facility in Switzerland, a new energy monitoring system at a Singapore facility and the insulation of steam and hot water pipes in the Netherlands. We’ve also installed new solar arrays on buildings in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and South Africa.

Protecting and preserving

Customers, investors, partners and our employees expect us to carry out our work in a way that also protects and preserves the planet and communities. “Our environmental sustainability goals go beyond just rules and regulations to help us meet that expectation,” says Janet. “We are doing our part to make the world a healthy place for people to live.”

A deep dive inside our goals

Our company has made progress in protecting the environment. For example, during the last two decades, we have set and met four carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets. In the past five years, we have reduced our water use by more than 30%. Learn more about our environmental sustainability goals and the progress we are making toward them.

Awards and recognition

Organizations around the world have recognized our environmental sustainability efforts with numerous awards, including five Green Chemistry Challenge Awards – more than any other pharmaceutical company – and we received the Energy Star Partner Award for Sustained Excellence in 2019 for the 12th year in a row. Read more.